Titans vs Texans: The good, the bad and the ugly

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Chaotic finishes are becoming the norm in the annual meeting in Houston between the Titans and the Texans. Last year, Vince Young’s unforgettable scamper into the end zone provided the Titans with a thrilling 26-20 overtime victory over the Texans. On Sunday, Kerry Collins’ clutch throw to Roydell Williams set the Titans up for Rob Bironas’ record-breaking 8th field goal in their wild 38-36 victory over the Texans.

Yesterday’s excruciating win consisted of several standout Titan performances as well as some forgettable ones.

The Good

Rob Bironas

Prior to yesterday’s contest, Bironas had successfully kicked 8 field goals through the uprights this year.  In one afternoon, he doubled his output for the season with an NFL record 8 field goal performance.

Kerry Collins

Collins performed his role as the team’s veteran QB backup to perfection yesterday. Stepping in for an injured Vince Young, Collins completed 25 of 42 passes for 280 yards, including a clutch throw to Roydell Williams that set up the game winning field goal. Collins was able to effectively manage the game and make the plays when the team needed him the most.

The running game

The Titans were able to accumulate 155 yards on the ground yesterday, led by LenDale White’s 104 yard rushing performance. Chris Henry, playing in his first NFL game, showed some glimpses of the talent that made him a second round selection in last year’s draft, displaying a nice combination of speed and power while also scoring his first NFL touchdown. It will be interesting to see if Henry can continue to produce when given the opportunity to carry the football.

The Bad

Red Zone Inefficiency

Masked by Rob Bironas’s impressive kicking display was the team’s inability to score in the red zone. The Titans converted touchdowns on only two of their nine attempts in Houston’s red zone yesterday. The Titans’ inability to score touchdowns opened the door for Houston’s stunning 4th quarter comeback by allowing them to stick around in a game they had no business being in.

The Ugly

4th quarter defense

For three quarters, the Titans did their best imitation of the 1985 Chicago Bears’ defense, stifling Houston’s offensive attack through the means of punishing hits and excellent defensive play. Quarterback Matt Schaub was knocked out of the game not once, but twice and the Titans’ physical defense forced six Houston turnovers.

Visions of the 85 Bears’ defense quickly faded into oblivion during the tumultuous 4th quarter, as the Titans’ defense allowed 29 points to the rejuvenated Houston offense. Sage Rosenfels all of a sudden became Tom Brady-like, connecting with Houston receivers for four touchdowns during the 4th quarter.

The Titans are now 4-2 and are emerging as a possible playoff contender in the extremely competitive American Football Conference. With yesterday’s inconsistent yet victorious performance behind them, the Titans must continue to improve if their dreams of reaching the postseason are to become a reality.

 

 

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9 Responses to “Titans vs Texans: The good, the bad and the ugly”

  1. Dan Says:

    Is it me or does anyone else just hate Lenadale White. He averages like 3 yards a carry and that just is no dam good. I really want to see more of Henry, I was maybe wrong about him and he might have some good potential. Lendale is just so fat and slow the only way i put him on the field is short yardage or the occasional series.

  2. NewsToTom Says:

    You mean “LenDayne”? To be a little fair, I think he’s a little bit better than Dayne in terms of footwork and has a little better vision, but they’re the same type of back-big backs who prefer to dance and don’t run with nearly as much power as you’d expect from their size. The “good” news is that with Hall’s injury, maybe they have the 3 HBs + Ganther active on a weekly basis, or at least when Brown’s healthy enough to be a blocker on obvious passing downs.

  3. Garland Says:

    I like LenDale myself, especially in this two-back system with either Brown or Henry. He consistently gets tough yards and is a beast at the goal line. I don’t think he is good enough to be the lone back in a system, but luckily we have a couple of faster guys to complement his style. He is certainly no LT, but he is a solid part of this committee approach.
    I’m surprised by the negative comments about LenDale this week after he puts up the best numbers of his short career. He’s still a very young guy and should continue to just get better, especially if he can improve his off-season work ethic. Maybe Chris Henry can get him to work out with him! That dude looks ferocious!

  4. NewsToTom Says:

    LenDale’s looked pretty much the same since he was at USC in 2004. Expecting him to look like Henry is probably a triumph of optimism over experience. And he put up the best numbers of his career because Fisher gave him more carries than ever before. And he got more carries than ever before because (1) the Titans were trying to run the clock, which means they ended up with a lot of runs and (2) the rushing alternative was a guy playing his first NFL game. White had a couple non-terrible runs, like the 28 yarder, but a number of others that simply weren’t very good.

  5. Dan Says:

    Lendale averages this year: 3.3 ypc
    Sunday his average was: 3.85
    Chris Henry’s average: 5.2
    All my point was that Chris should get more carries, and lenadale should have a lot fewer, because 3.3 is not a very good average and two coming off the bench last year he averaged 4.0 ypc which is acceptable. So, I’m suggesting at least for experiment sake a role reversal. Don’t get me wrong thou, Chris henry is still a rookie and has a lot to prove.

  6. Garland Says:

    I would like to see more of Chris Henry too, but you have to remember that his yards came after LenDale had been in there pounding it for a while. A fresh back later in the game should usually have a better per-carry average. And LenDale’s big run came late. That should be expected.
    None of these backs should be getting more than 20 carries in a game unless they are just out there killing it. When you have three decent backs with no obvious standout, it just makes sense to keep spreading the carries out. The Titans’ approach is to wear them down with the big back and then try to bust one with the fresh, fast guy. That seems like a better strategy than to start the fast guys and then just use LenDale in short-yardage situations. If Henry or Brown were better all-purpose backs, then that might be the way to go. Hopefully Henry can develop to that point, but he is not there yet.

  7. Drexel Perry Says:

    Count me in as a guy who believes that Henry should continue to see carries in this offense. He showed a pretty good burst on Sunday and looks as if he could be a factor in the Titans running game.
    My biggest problem with White is his inability to hit the hole with authority. As some as you already said, in short yardage situations, White is the kind of guy you would like to have carrying the football. However, Henry is the type of guy who can break the occasional long touchdown run, and that’s a dynamic that IMO, is missing in this offense. Brown has the ability to break long runs but as we all know, he has a problem just staying on the field.

  8. JT Says:

    I liked what I saw with Henry as well, however he has not had to do what White has done, which is knock people in the face on a regular basis. Henry is promising, but lets not cut off our nose despite our face. Didn’t White have his best game Sunday? Also, if the Titans can get the air game going again, it will open up the run for White, VY, Henry and my cat if he want to, thanks to the O line.
    Also, don’t knock a man cause he’s fat. That is actually why I like him. Don’t keep a fat man down.

  9. Dan Says:

    Yeah, but hes a fate man with a shitty 3.3 ypc average, that doesn’t get it done in the nfl. To win were going to need a back that get the explosive/dynamic yards not just the hard yards, which is all lendale can get. The 20+ yard play, remeber it because its a rarity out of him.

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